Oooh! Lots of excitement today! Not only did I figure out how to create more Patapons to use in my now-growing army, but I also found a tree-and-trumpet-man mini-game that gives me stuff, AND I can now Chaka-Chaka-Pata-Pon (defend)! Aces!
The Chaka thing was especially useful on Dodonga – the first proper “boss” I encountered in the game. Most of my army were defeated during the fight, but thankfully I collected their caps that they leave behind, so they were reborn after the mission.